The marriage of inlay and k1long

Sometimes I discover that my brain has been thinking up things while I wasn’t looking, as it were. I love the way it does that. (Except when I’m overwhelmed by ideas.) This time, the back of my brain  decided to combine a technique I’ve been playing with in swatches–k1long with inlay‘s ability to add a contrast color in a vertical colorwork design. This isn’t actually inlay, but merely borrows the idea of carrying a contrast color vertically up the wrong side of the knitting when it’s not in use.

I’ve only written instructions that show how to work this from the front, but I hope that it will be evident how to reverse the process from the wrong side. Please let me know if I’m mistaken and I’ll write this up. As it stands, it should be easy enough to work in the round regardless.

The first step is to consider whether the contrast color loop is leaning from bottom left to top right or from bottom right to top left. If the former, I’ve used a k2tog (right leaning) to secure the loop, and if the latter, I’ve used SSK (left leaning).

The instructions below are for the right-leaning version; the left-leaning version doesn’t require the slipped stitch to be worked first (if working in the round, anyway).

The first thing is to slip the stitch that the loop will be attached to.

k1long(Click to enlarge)

I’m going to insert my active needle between two stitches and pull a loop of the contrast color through. The insertion point is in the second row below the needle, between the second and third stitches.

k1long, step 2.

Here I’ve inserted my needle and will wrap the contrast color yarn around it to form a knit stitch. (I’ve only done different row coloring up to this point to help with counting – from this point on I didn’t bother.)


Here I’ve pulled the loop through the fabric. Next, I slip loop onto the left needle, pulling it to size across the fabric.

IMG_4832The slipped stitch is returned to the left needle, ready to knit the two stitches together.

IMG_4833Here the loop from the k1long is shown wrapped around the stitch just knit.

There are a lot of different designs that could be worked in this way; I did a sort of herringbone pattern. If there’s an interest, I’ll try to chart what I did, but am still internally debating the best way to do this.

Note that there’s no need to decrease away the k1long; it can serve as an increase.